Darth You Can't Be Serious

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The little one is with her grandparents, so this evening my wife, my eight-year-old son, and I went to see "Revenge of the Sith" -- the second time for him, first time for us.

So we were in the van, leaving the movie theatre parking lot. I asked him if he noticed anything he missed the first time.


Did he notice any Biblical parallels, anything that reminded him of things in the Bible?

"Well, it's kind of like Tulsa."

(Not the path I was trying to go down, but all right....) How so?

"Bill LaFortune is like Senator Palpatine."

(A moment to suppress convulsive laughter....) He is? What do you mean?

"Everyone thought he'd be good at first, but then he made some bad choices, and then they finally found out he was on the wrong side."

A bit later: "And he's also like Senator Palpatine because he tells each person what they want to hear."

After assuring our lad that we weren't laughing at him -- we were laughing at the notion of Bill LaFortune as a shrewd, cunning Dark Lord of the Sith -- we did think of another parallel. In Episode II, there is a conversation between Anakin and Padme where he praises dictatorship as a way to bring order out of the chaos of democracy. The same theme recurs in Episode III. Here in Tulsa, we have a newspaper editorial board that consistently complains about the disorder of our City Council debates and seeks stability and order. They oppose every effort to give more power to the citizens to determine how we will be governed, and most recently one of their members has called for at-large members of the Council as a way of disconnecting the councilors from the citizens they were elected to represent. The stability and order the Whirled seeks is the stability of central control, a Council of Clones marching in lockstep to the drumbeat of their master.

Democracy and representative government can be a messy thing. Debate, dissent, and disagreement aren't pretty, but a government that is perfectly ordered and perfectly in agreement is one that has been turned to the Dark Side.


W. said:

When I was a young teen, I used to be a Star Wars fan. But I've distanced myself away from the sci-fi series because of this:

George Lucas writes dialogue that's as stiff as a frozen board.

Harrison Ford hated the dialogue so much, he deliberatly didn't learn the lines so that it would sound more spontaneous.

And the last installment was like watching a intergalactical version of C-SPAN.

You know you're in trouble when dialogue from a "Star Wars" flick makes the overwrought screenplay from "Titanic" sound like Elmore Leonard.

I expect more from movies than a mere spectacle. It's like those old suits of armor you see in museums -- they're pretty, but there's nothing inside.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 28, 2005 10:21 PM.

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