Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars: The Box Office Awakens

Every true Star Wars fan understands that the reason for its success is because George Lucas is an unoriginal thinker. Like Shakespeare, he creates great stories by taking his ideas, images, plots and themes from elsewhere. All the imagery and iconography of Star Wars have clear origins outside him, from agents of the Empire bearing uniforms taken from the Third Reich to Jedis brandishing laser Samurai swords. The plots and scenes owe much to Japanese cinema and John Ford’s Westerns; the opening crawl introducing the very first 1977 film is a nod to Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940); and the movie’s final scene, with X-Wings gunning down the trench in the Death Star, was lifted from The Dam Busters (1955). Lucas himself is quite open about all this.

The concept of ‘The Force’ and the struggle against dark forces owes much to Christianity, but the idea of ‘inner struggle’ and ‘overcoming oneself’ belongs to that self-declared anti-Christ, Friedrich Nietzsche. As do many of the film’s religious themes. As the Guardian journalist and correspondent for Outlookmagazine, Saptarshi Ray, tells me: ‘As a boy reading some of the kiddie guides to Hindu mythology, I could see links to Star Wars. Many of the characters could easily be seen as a deity of the sky (Indra as Lando), of the Earth (Brahma as Sandmen), good fortune (Ganesh as Han Solo), learning (Saraswati as Yoda), destruction (Shiva as the Emperor), and so on. But you could just as easily compare them to Greek, Roman or Pagan gods.’

Most famously, Stars Wars: A New Hope is said to have employed the monomyth, as outlined by the Jungian anthropologist Joseph Cambell in his 1949 book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Here, Campbell sought to unearth humanity’s grand narrative, one that transcends time, space and culture...

A more critical perspective

George Lucas is "like Shakespeare"?

See also in Vice: Debate is not a form of abuse.



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