Friday, October 24, 2014

Star Wars & Culture

George Lucas, in both the original and the prequels, based some of his fictional sci-fi fantasy concepts on aspects of various cultures that exist right here on this Earth. You don't have to be a Star Wars aficionado to appreciate this.

In the first three originals, Lucas did this very cleverly; in the prequels, somewhat crudely.

There is a lot of "Asianness." Darth Vader in a samurai like outfit. Light-sabers as samurai like swords. Yoda as an ancient wise Sensei. And of course the philosophy of "the force" is quite Taoistic.

Yet, there's also some Greco-Romanism there too. A theme of Star Wars is how noble "republics" transform into ignoble "empires."

This is what happened to Rome. And this relates to my study of the American Founding in the sense that the Founders had an affinity for noble republican Rome and its caution against the imperial tyrants, i.e., "Caesar." 

So here is another Star Wars analogy: The noble Stoics as the Jedi, the ignoble Caesars as the Sith. And indeed from my study of the Stoics, the Caesars basically killed or otherwise persecuted the last of them out of existence (i.e., what the Sith did to the Jedi).

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