21 December 2012

Star Wars midrash

I've linked before the amazing final post of Darth Vader's blog, Darth Vader Superstar.

I was born forty-nine years ago, less a day. I was born a slave, as billions are born slaves. When I was a child I did not immediately imagine that I deserved freedom, for this was not my mother's attitude. Suffering was to be endured. She admitted a patient hope for less cruel masters, when we were between them. She taught that if freedom was in our destinies, fate would find us.

A friend just pointed me at another masterpiece of Star Wars apologetics, Reconsidering Star Wars IV in the light of I-III:

As Star Wars opens, R2 is rushing the Death Star plans to the Rebellion. That’s R2, not Leia. The plans are always in R2. What Leia puts into him in the early scene is only her own holographic message to Kenobi. Leia's own mission, as she says in that holographic message, is to pick up Obi-Wan and take him to Alderaan. Or so she thinks. Actually, her father just wants her to meet Kenobi, which up to this point she never has. There's a reason for that.

Obi-Wan has spent the last 20 years in the Tattoine desert, keeping watch over Luke Skywalker and trying to decide on one of the three available options:

  1. If Luke shows no significant access to the Force, then leave him alone in obscurity
  2. If Luke shows real Force ability, then consider recruiting him as a Jedi. The rebellion needs Jedi and it needs them now. But, if Luke shows any signs of turning out like his father, then:
  3. sneak into his house one fine night and chop his head off. With great regret but it'll save a lot of trouble later on.

Or consider A People's History of Tattooine.

What if Mos Eisley wasn’t really that wretched and it was just Obi Wan being racist again?
The 'sand people' were really just desert nomads emancipating the massive slave population.

Or this alternate version of Luke's first meeting with Kenobi.

“That's what your uncle told you. Bit of a liar, your Uncle.” A pained expression crossed Obi Wan's face. “Lying is wrong,” he muttered. “Anyway, your Uncle didn't hold with your father's ideals.” Killing children is bad, Obi Wan thought, so that one's true. “Thought your father should have stayed here – er, as a slave – and not gotten involved.”

Or consider this:

... rewatching Episodes I, II, and III were tedious slogs made better by only two things: snark and a shocking reveal that the subtext here could be that Padme was totally cheating on Anakin with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I mean, the evidence is right there staring you in the face, coloring everything that happens in “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” into a fairly passable arc of love and revenge. Don’t believe me? Put on your ship-goggles and let’s go on a journey!

We’re skipping over The Phantom Menace because Padme is fourteen in that movie and Obi-Wan is probably in his early twenties and we want this to be romantic, not creepy as hell. Anakin already has that angle covered.

When Attack of the Clones opens, Senator Amidala arrives on Coruscant for a vote even though her life is in danger due to her political leanings. In order to ease her mind, it is suggested that “an old friend” be assigned to guard her person. Yet Anakin is giddy in the elevator because he hasn't seen Padme in a decade. So who is this old friend? Her secret lover Obi-Wan, obviously ....

Or the Rosencrantz & Guildenstern of the galaxy.


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the blogger is wrong. Here is Leia's message (emphasis mine):

General Kenobi. Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father's request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I'm afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him in Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

R2 did not have the plans until Leia gave him the plans AND the message.

Jonathan Korman said...

So she says. I think Leia often speaks disingenuously from her political ambition.

As I'm fond of pointing out, she's the only surviving eyewitness to the destruction of Aldera'an. How do we know that it really was destroyed by the Death Star?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the language of film pretty much guarantees that every audience member is, too.

Al said...

You miss the fact that "Star Wars," as presented, is a Rebellion propaganda piece. It is an unreliable narrator.

Anonymous said...

Spare me the po-mo nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Don't get too butthurt.

Anonymous said...

I assure you, rumors of my "butthurt" are quite exaggerated.