Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A long time ago...

I’ve decided to spend the month of NaNoWriMo writing each day, one good thing about the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. It should be a good distraction.

"But the Prequels are bad!" I hear you say. No, they are good. "They are full of weird non-sequiturs and awkward moments," I hear you say. Those moments stand out for a reason. In most of the things people mock, there is something important going on. The thing that doesn’t make sense should, instead of being dismissed, be more deeply investigated to find out the true meaning. And there’s a lot of meaning.

In fact, beyond scifi pleasure, these movies are full of important moral messages. Really good moral messages that I agree with. Which is why I find it valuable to interpret them, and discuss that morality with others.

Most importantly, the Prequel movies are about failure. How a society that is supposedly good, full of good people and institutions, can fall into evil and darkness. I think the movies do this very well. But it mostly does it by showing people who are signalled as “good” making terrible mistakes. Some of them are intellectual mistakes, but most of them are moral and ideological errors that have their basis in their flawed outlook. And we can all learn from these errors, as they apply to our lives too.

I’m aware that this is a minority viewpoint, but I am also aware that this is neither wholly original. The theme of the movies was explained to me by others, and I am only expanding on that. Some of these scenes I noticed on my own, and some were mentioned by others first but I am going into more detail on. If you want references to where I’ve read about this from, let me know.

These moral themes continue in the Original Trilogy (and were really first explored there, after all.) So some of the evidence for the themes will be from the Original Trilogy, or even from the Expanded Universe. Sometimes a “scene” of the day will just be the jumping off point for a broader discussion of something we see repeated throughout the movies, or for discussing the cultural impacts of economic institutions. But it will always at least touch on one scene in the Prequels.

I realize this will sound implausible today. I can be accused of "over-interpreting random noise by a bad artist". And after two or three of these, well, “Blue sure has his hobby-horse.” But after ten or twenty maybe it might start to kick in that “wow, there really was a coherent pattern running here”.

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