Monthly Archives: January 2018

From a certain point of view

The Last Jedi reawakened a Star Wars Renaissance for me. I’ve gone back and started watching the movies in order, as well as tossing in The Clone Wars and Rebels animated shows, too.
Last night was Episode IV. To this day, I’m struck by how fun the movie remains to watch, especially after the slow crawl that remains part and parcel of Episodes I-III. Yet, as I rewatched those films, watching for entertainment only and trying my best to toss aside pre-conceived notions about them, I admit I enjoyed them far more than I used to when they first appeared.
Still, the one nagging story-line part of ANH that becomes glaringly obvious is Obi-Wan’s explanation to Luke about Anakin’s betrayal. Watching the movies like I have, I get why Luke fusses at his mentor in RotJ for not telling him the truth, and am as incredulous as the Jedi-in-training becomes when Obi-Wan shrugs it off as a “certain point of view” explanation.
But what if Luke knew everything we also knew about the whole Anakin Skywalker turned Sith Lord Darth Vader? Who do you think Luke would side with if he knew the entirety of the story? And doesn’t this then make old Ben Kenobi an outright lying bastard?
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Look at him here, mere moments after Luke suffers a little blunt-force trauma to his head via the gaffi stick of the Sandperson. Our hero is dazed and confused, and Old Ben is starting in with the whole “I haven’t gone by the name of Obi-Wan since… oh, before you were born…” malarkey.
This, of course, steamrolls right into the Big Lie, “A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi knights. He betrayed and murdered your father.”
Jump forward to Return of the Jedi. Here’s Obi-Wan trying to explain his lies:
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Luke Skywalker: Ben! Why didn’t you tell me? You told me that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered my father.

Obi-Wan: Your father… was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be the Jedi Anakin Skywalker and “became” the Sith Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So, what I told you was true… from a certain point of view.

Luke Skywalker: A certain point of view?

Obi-Wan: Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. Anakin was a good friend. When I first met him, your father was already a great pilot. But I was amazed how strongly the Force was with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi. I thought that I could instruct him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong.

Luke Skywalker: There is still good in him.

Obi-Wan: He’s more machine now than man. Twisted and evil.

Luke Skywalker: I can’t do it, Ben.

Obi-Wan: You cannot escape your destiny. You must face Darth Vader again.

Luke Skywalker: I can’t kill my own father.

Obi-Wan: Then the Emperor has already won. You were our only hope.

Luke Skywalker: Yoda spoke of another.

Obi-Wan: The other he spoke of is your twin sister.

Luke Skywalker: But I have no sister.

Obi-Wan: Hmm. To protect you both from the Emperor, you were hidden from your father when you were born. The Emperor knew, as I did, if Anakin were to have any offspring, they would be a threat to him. That is the reason why your sister remains safely anonymous.

Luke Skywalker: Leia! Leia is my sister.

Obi-Wan: Your insight serves you well. Bury your feelings deep down, Luke. They do you credit, but they could be made to serve the Emperor.

And isn’t that what this is really all about, anyway? What if Luke turned to the Dark Side, becoming a tool of the Emperor? Or joined Vader and ruled the galaxy as father and son? Obi-Wan simply lies the entirety of the story away in order to guarantee such never occurs and Luke remains good.

And is it poor writing on Lucas’ side because Luke doesn’t get angrier? What about the way in which the whole story takes less than three minutes to tell and everyone is all buddy-buddy at the end?

Further, how did Lucas manage to completely mangle the visual re-telling of this important and crucial story (Episodes I-III) from a “certain point of view” (while also managing to drag out what should have been one of the most epic lightsaber battles ever filmed)? That was supposed to be the reason the prequels were made, and while I have grown to enjoy them over time, I still remember the frustration of watching each of them as they were released and thinking, with each successive one, “Man, that could have been so much better.”

So, instead, we’re left with the messiness of the Obi-Wan business, never to have the proper story told to us–to ME–the way it should have been.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Star Wars and always will, but that doesn’t mean I have to accept lousy storytelling or incongruent storylines.

Anywho, next up is TESB, the movie which introduced me to cliffhanger endings and my all-time favorite musical piece “The Imperial March” (Darth Vader’s Theme) by John Williams.

May the Force be with you!

 

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Excerpts from GOP Sen. Jeff Flake forthcoming speech to the senate

“When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press…”
“Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies…”
“It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even (later Soviet leader) Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin to for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader…:
“This alone should be a source of great shame for us in this body, especially those of us in the president’s party. For they are shameful and repulsive statements…”
“2017 was a year which saw the truth — objective, empirical, evidence-based truth — more battered and abused than any other time in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government.”
Source: NBC News

Coming Soon: Review for Legacy of Dragonholt.

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Just completed my first play-through of this new “narrative adventure” by Fantasy Flight Games, and it was quite enjoyable! Further commentary coming soon!

Politics, as usual

Real quick, if you couldn’t tell, this post has absolutely nothing to do with gaming. It will be a political rant, however. You’ve been warned.

So, a couple of things have got me concerned about our current political situation, and I’m not just talking about Kim and Trump’s button sizes or what’ll really happen when their pissing contest escalates. Nope, I’m talking about states’ rights and treasonous activities.

AG Sessions released his memo today which backs away from the hands-off approach towards recreational marijuana that the former administration undertook. Basically, Sessions is telling US attorneys in the states were pot is legal to fully prosecute marijuana-related crimes. In the process, this new directive is telling states, “Hey, the Federal government doesn’t care that your citizenry legally voted something into law.”

It’s the evil marijuana, this time, but what’s next?

(CBS News reports that at one point in the last few years”[Sessions suggested] that it fell to Congress to change the classification of marijuana as an illegal drug if it didn’t want DOJ to enforce the law against it.” Very valid point, I’ll give him that, and one I actually support. Likelihood of happening? Unknown, really.)

Sure. I get that marijuana is still considered illegal overall by the Feds, but where does this new decision leave the places where marijuana has been voted into legalization at the local level? How will those states respond? If you read the linked article, you’ll see that reaction has been swift and negative, condemning Sessions’ missive as judicial overreach. I actually hope the states push back or, at the very least, the voters in those places send a message to Washington.

I also hope all of the Republicans who’ve been shouting about states’ rights and Federal overreach join the fray against this action. This is a prime example of what they’ve been arguing against for the last eight years every time the Feds enforced some new rule or policy regarding the environment or healthcare. They certainly made valid points in their arguments against Federal mandates.

Likewise, now, more than ever, the Democrats need to reach across the aisle to those very Republicans (if they are, indeed, in an uproar over the infringement) and join with them against this egregious Federal dictum. Would the current political climate even allow such joining of forces?

(Are the states’ rights folks really willing to go to bat for the cause if it’s about pot and its legality? The million dollar question, huh? I would. Marijuana helped me get through cancer. I was able to walk right into a store and buy it without fear of arrest. Yes, the drug has an intoxicating effect, but chiefly it allowed me to continue living while chemical poison was being pumped into my body to kill the life-threatening malignancy. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, nor did I become a drug-addled fiend.)

(Edit: New York has just asked Congress to act in passing a law which keeps the Federal overreach regarding AG Sessions’ memo from affecting states where laws have already been enacted at the state level. Of note, Democrats are behind this new legislative push, while the states’ rights advocates from the Republican side are silent…)

Now, let’s talk treason. Just a few lines, I promise. It’s about Bannon.

If you’re gonna go on record and say something which happened was treasonous, and that the FBI should have been notified, then why weren’t you the one doing the notifying? You had close, personal contact with this administration on a daily basis. If something went down that needed stopping by our premiere law enforcement agency, why wait to reveal such information in a book?

What’s to gain by waiting when we have everything to lose?