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Author Topic: Neville's Radical Film Philosophy I: Luke is a Bin Laden figure in TFA  (Read 85 times)

Robert Neville

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We all know that it's not good for the board when things stay too quiet here. Sure, Danny's now crossed the line and set the process he's been delaying for so long, but it's more of a slow-burn thing (especially since I'm now the last one on this board who hasn't seen that mess.) Instead, we can turn our gaze towards the sad decline of the "new" Star Wars, which even cool members like Tanny mistakenly consider entitled to "Best of 2015" awards.

There were so many things wrong with that pathetic movie (Tanny can check the Rogue One thread for reference), that inevitably, I had to leave comments on some of them out during my RC of it. One of those was how badly the entire thing skewed towards "find old Luke Skywalker", as opposed to "deal with even larger Death Star", both in terms of the core plot, and the Empire's First Order's priority.

Simply put: Luke Skywalker became important to the Rebels because he destroyed the Death Star. Same goes for Empire: yes, there was a search for him, but it was always secondary to banishing the rebels: Vader didn't become obsessed with it until Episode V, and that happened because of Death Star. Afterwards, his only other contribution to victory was saving Han Solo: by the time he brought his father back to short-lived redemption at the expense of massive chaos and suffering across the galaxy light, Rebels won the battle already, and could have blown everything up and killed the Emperor with him still on board. With First Order somehow resurging to be even stronger than Empire once was ANYWAY, he's even more irrelevant.

So, I was ready to write this off as yet another bit of brainless fanservice from J.J. and co. that only made the film worse to everyone who hasn't completely surrendered their critical faculties to The Fandom (kind of like two other blockbusters by a certain filmmaker Danny Oh venerates.) Yet, I suddenly realised that unlike the painfully forced Christian analogies in those films, this particular story actually has a clear real-world parallel to it: the USA hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

Just think about it: both men were already hunted by the large, overwhelmingly better-equipped and numerous entity earlier (Luke's adopted parents being killed, etc., Clinton bombing Sudan's pharmaceutical plant in 1998 thinking Bin Laden was there), but neither were seen as a true priority until a single devastating act of massive destruction claimed thousands of lives and thrust them to the role of No. 1 target for the entity in question, and No.1 symbol for those on their side.

Afterwards, neither has been able to match or exceed the event that brought them infamy. Instead, their outsided importance and desire for retribution led their opponents to ruinous blunder after initial victories (Endor after Hoth/Yavin IV, and Iraq after Afghanistan, respectively.), which resulted in a far greater damage long-term. Then, they had to vanish, and held largely symbolic power over their acolytes, but their opponents' determination never faltered. Since TFA is fiction, the outcomes diverge a little (Luke survives (for now, at least), while OBL went so deep down the circle of life, not even any fish his body fed are likely to remain alive), but the undercurrent is the same: a new generation (be it Rey/Finn or al-Nusra/ISIS) has risen, at first overlooked because too much attention was paid to the old figureheads.

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Robert Neville

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I'll be posting a version of this on Rogue One boards too, of course. Will be fun to see if the mods let it through. For now, though, I think we can get a good round of discussion out of this.

Plague Cutler

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I skimmed through this but did you also bring up physical similarities?

Robert Neville

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I skimmed through this but did you also bring up physical similarities?

For now, I stuck to the core of my thesis. This can be added later.

Plague Cutler

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CT_Sexybeast

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I enjoyed this immensely. The devout religious parallels are especially funny when you think about them.
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