Reaction to "The Symbolism of Star Wars"

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Posted by balios ( on July 02, 2002 at 10:26:39:

<"Star Wars: Attack of the Clones might be the most spectacularly symbolic film .... AotC is a cinematic masterpiece.">

The mere presence of symbolism doesn't make a movie great. A great movie must draw you in and make you care about the characters enough to look for symbolism. The forced/artificial/cliche romance between Amidala and Anakin really didn't make many people care whether Amidala was anchoring Anakin to the light or not.

<"Clones can think. This is meant to get the audience to question what it is to be human, much like Data gets us to ask the same question in Star Trek.">

I don't think this is the case. If the clones were supposed to evoke this question, then some character or situation would have to take that opinion. All the characters, from OB1 to Yoda, didn't question the use of clones. They were more concerned about the presence of this army rather than its makeup.

While watching the movie, I reacted similarly: growing clones for use as canon fodder is immoral. But, thatís because of my own morals, not because of something ATOC was trying to tell me. Just because a viewer questions the actions of a character, it doesn't mean the movie is about that moral dilemma. For example, if I watch Predator, and I question the use of depleted uranium rounds, it doesn't mean the movie is about the moral use of depleted uranium.

Imagine if Data's character was never challenged; imagine if Data never struggled to become human. The result would be that Data character does not represent what it means to be "human", regardless of how many fans wondered if he was really sentient.

<"Yoda's belief that the Jedi were more important than the clone soldiers stemmed from his arrogance">

How is this arrogance? An army without leaders isn't much of an army; these leaders are the jedi knights. Rescuing the Jedi was a necessity, regardless of the casualties.

<"It [sacrificing clone troops for the jedi] clearly hurt far more beings than it helped">

How is "hurt" defined? The jedi are the keepers of the peace. Without the Jedi a far greater "hurt" might be inflicted upon the galaxy, and far more people could be hurt in the long run. Whether you are a democracy or not, these kind of decisions have to be made in war. A thousand soldiers might have to die taking a hill, even if common sense says a thousand lives are more important than a piece of dirt. A few jedi might be more important than a thousand soldiers.

But again, this issue isn't addressed in the movie. No one questions Yoda's tactical decision. We aren't made to see the horrible consequences of his decision. Instead, we are treated to the heroic rescue of the survivors. If you want a movie about the morals of war, then watch a movie like "Saving Private Ryan" or "Platoon". You will see the characters struggling with these issues. You'll see the associated symbolism, of heaven vs hell, of good vs evil, as the directors show their view on war.

<"Someone once criticized Star Wars as being a kid film">

Georgo Lucas said it was a "kid film", how can stupidity be attributed to people with this opinion, when it agrees with the director's view of the film. Keep in mind that this is the same director to whome is credited the symbolic shots.

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