Bashing Star Wars

By GotDesign
Some of you know me very well. Those of you who do, understand how much I enjoy the Star Wars film trilogy. No, I don't plan to name my first-born child Luke Skywalker or Padme Amidala, but I really enjoy the stories on many levels.

I was just channel surfing on the radio and came across the Janet Parshall's America radio program. During her first hour she had Dr. Ted Baehr of to discuss Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith. Dr. Baehr rated the Episode III a -2 on his scale, which means "Extreme Caution." Now I understand a certain degree of caution due the dark nature of Episode III. In this installment of the Star Wars Trilogy, Anakin Skywalker finally falls to the Dark Side of the Force and becomes Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith. There is escalated violence in keeping with Skywalker's/Vader's fully evil nature. In the invitation I sent out to my Sunday School group in preparation for our group trip to see the Star Wars film, I recommended that children under 9 yrs. not be brought to see this film. I can understand this reasoning for Dr. Baehr's rating. However, there is another component to Baehr's rating that is complete hogwash.

Baehr, encouraged by Ms. Parshall, claims that SW3 is rife with political "subtexts" that oppose President Bush and the war against terrorism. According to Baehr, when Anakin Skywalker is telling Obi-Wan Kenobi that "if you are not with me, you're against me," he is taking a stab at President Bush's stance against nations/states that harbor or aid terrorists. This is a reach. Picture a 4 yd old looking at the top of the cabinets at the jar which he knows holds those beautiful cookies. the 4 yr old grabs a kitchen chair and climbs atop and stretches for his goal. But in Dr. Baehr's case, the cookie jar is empty. There is no political subtext. Period. The storyline of all of the Star Wars film was written/conceived of in the early 1970s. Well before the current anti-conservative sentiments were as pervasive as they are today. Anakin's ultimatum is consistent with someone who is falling into evil and is being challenged by a good (read "non-evil") friend. Defensive and confrontational.

Dr. Baehr goes on to say that George Lucas spent some time in his youth dabbling with the occult and therefore this shows up in his films. Once again, I think Dr. Baehr has been sniffing something pretty potent. Regardless of what Lucas did during his youth, the Star Wars films were always intended to be a modern mythology -- a fairy tale. Lucas specifically researched classic myths to find common story elements -- coming of age, rights of passage, confronting evil both within and without, etc. All of these elements are present in the Star Wars trilogy. In Mary Henderson's Star Wars: The Magic of Myth, she chronicles the various mythological backgrounds from which Lucas drew upon to bring Star Wars to the silver screen. But Star Wars is more than just a modern mythology. It is also a compilation of many film genres that Lucas loved in his youth. Lucas drew from such films as The Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress, as well as many American car films and westerns. There is nothing nefarious or circumspect about the Star Wars trilogy. Making such a claim is like claiming Disney's Cinderella is a bad influence. Just ludicrous.

I think that Ms. Parshall and Dr. Baehr are guilty of being a little overzealous in seeking out opposition to the Judeo-Christian worldview. Given, Hollywood is filled with those who would love to see Christianity (and possibly Judaism) driven from American soil, but they are looking too hard. Instead of taking an objective look at this latest Star Wars film, they have put on their anti-Christian-bias glasses before looking at Episode III. And so they have entered the critique/analysis with a bias already in place. They turned a two-and-a-half hour fairy tale into a witch hunt. Too bad.

UPDATE: At the Star Wars website, George Lucas is asked about how real world events may have influenced the Star Wars trilogy. His answer reaffirms what I've already said. Go check it out.


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