First off, let me admit that "Anonymous" is right at one level. My recent screed about Star Wars is largely repetitious of earlier remarks. I was going on vacation and thought I'd quickly offer a gift - or grenade - in parting. OTOH, this is a blog, not a formal publication. It is *exactly* where a guy may rant a little at something that's happening to his culture. Even reiterating a bit.
And how can you compare MY repetition with George Lucas's? A couple of billion dollars and man-years pushing one of the most downer and anti-modernist messages of all time - with 4 out of 6 films preaching downer endings - and I am the "crank" for pointing it out?
Mark's message about the parasitical emotion-hungry, logic-destroying midichlorians was pure delight. Like me, you hunger for sense, even trying to find some way to rationalize the absurd. Anyway, you can all see where the genetic "chosen one" thing fits perfectly into the romantic obsession. The Homeric demigod may be flawed and tragic, but no one is ever allowed to question his utter superiority by nature.
The Empire Strikes Back, Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasden took Lucas's BASIC idea and put words in Yoda's mouth that at least made a little sense. A knight who possesses unusual power is obliged to exercise unusual care. Anger CAN cause bad decisions - eg slaughtering all the Sand People when only a few killed your mom.
(A mom Anekin ignored for 15 years, leaving her a slave on Tatooine, when he had only to call in a favor from rich friends like Amidalah, in order to buy her freedom.)
But brief rage and bad decisions are completely different than becoming a consistently evil person. The Emperor's rant in ROTJ shows clearly what GL meant. That the Force makes you physically and psychically powerful, but morally frail. Captain Antilles showed more moral fiber in the very 1st scene than Anekin shows in the entire series. He relentlessly and CALMLY pursues the agenda of evil. (Which GL intended in the beginning by giving him that nazi helmet and name.)
I never said Yoda wanted to be a king per se... but a platonic "Philosopher King" is a phrase meaning a leader who is born into the role by nature, who faces little accountability, who is permitted to lie or manipulate (for the common good) and so on. Plato's list of traits (half of them horrific by modernist standards) fit Yoda perfectly. (You never met my real dare... to name a scene in which Y is friendly, helpful and informative.)
Ambi said: Changing topics: David Brin, would it cost you much more than now to start a forum on your site? A blog is personal and passionate, but also tends to be highly partisan and one-sided. And you're not immune to it.
There is already a forum at: http://www.brin-l.com
I understand your complaint and sympathize. I started this blog at popular request knowing full well that I'd have trouble staying fair or paying enough attention to honor the bright people who check in. As you can see at http://www.davidbrin.com/ I am simply too busy for words and desperately need a dittoing machine. (As in Kiln People!)
Anders: I think my universe is better, of course. But that's not the point. My Uplift Universe is NOT the way I hope the cosmos really is. It takes a premise and tries to explore outcomes. Humanity's enlightenment civilization faces great difficulties vs a vast and overpowering Galactic culture that has many traits of romanticism for good reasons. I never thought of that before.
Yngve asks does success spoil EVERYBODY? There are times when I wish I had Spielberg's ear, to quibble a bit, but honestly, I feel he is a brilliant gift to our civilization and probably does not need my advice. (Weird - he is pals with Lucas while preaching the opposite message. Spielberg is deeply loyal to the Enlightenment.)
Same with Zemeckis. The Coen Brothers are the bravest guys around, having the most fun. Cameron - while flawed - deserves society's ongoing subsidy. The Stargate Boys need to be grabbed by the earlobe and told a thing or two... but really, they write well and know their stuff and defend enlightenment values. Glad they exist.
Sadly, the latest round of Paramount Trek-leaders absolutely ruined the franchise. They bought me dinner 3 times, picked my mind, took a few ideas (without paying)... but I would have been thrilled if they had taken my MACRO advice about story arcs and saved the series. Now that's just sad.
Eye candy? Sure. George Lucas hires the best that our civilization has patronized/subsidized - engendering artistic talent at a level that none other can begin to match. These are our cathedrals, so go enjoy their beauty. I plan to do so (though at matinee rates!)
Enjoy the cathedrals. Just don't worship the gods that Lucas plants on the altar. They are gods that hate us and our new way of working in the world.